Riggs Ministry Minute ~ When there’s only a minute for ministry
Rev. Ross L. Riggs www.docriggs.com 6 September 2012
Their love was the unstoppable, over-the-top kind of love that only a father can have for a son. It was a love that sent one father into mourning for more than two dozen years. It was a love that sent the other father on a quest across a hostile foreign country until there was no money left in his pockets. The quest brought him face to face with robbers. He survived a knifing as well as more dangers than can be described here. This father nearly starving stayed alive only because of the hospitality of poor indigenous farmers and laborers and the grace of God. The first father eventually moved to another country to be with his recovered son.
The first father had eleven other sons, one younger than Joseph and a comfort to the old man as he continued to mourn the loss of Joseph. He had been told by his other sons that Joseph was killed by a lion when in fact they had conspired to kidnap Joseph and sell him into slavery into another country. There he was a slave until false accusations put Joseph in prison where, we are told, the Lord was with him. The Lord did not get Joseph out of jail right away, in fact it was several years, but still it was part of God’s plan for him. God had shown Joseph, years before, that He would use Joseph in a mighty and powerful way to protect his nation. That must have seem unlikely from the bottom of the well into which he was thrown before being sold or from the jail cell after the false accusations, particularly when God did nothing to get him out of the jail for several years.
Then, there is the other Joseph. He was less than six months old when, just like the first Joseph, he was stolen away from his father. This father had no other sons to console him. He knew that it was Joseph’s mother who had taken him, in a foreign country, to a barrio deep in the heart of that country which is normally hostile to persons of Joseph’s father’s background. Joseph’s father is an American and Joseph’s mother is Colombian. There was, at the time Joseph was first taken, a desperate sense of urgency in Joseph’s father because he knew that his young son was very sick. Trips to what passes as doctors in Colombia had done nothing to improve the tiny child’s health. When Joseph’s mother refused to allow his father to bring Joseph back to the states for medical care, she also refused to return with Joseph at all.
Our first Joseph’s father remained at home in deep depression, believing his son to be dead, and wanting to die himself. (His name was Jacob.) A famine had come to the land and the only place where there was food was in a nearby country. Jacob sent his oldest sons to the government of this country seeking food. It was there that the brothers saw Joseph after so very many years. God had used him to make sure that this country, Egypt, had enough food to both survive and make food available to others. Joseph, upon seeing his brothers, finally began to see why God had allowed him to be kidnapped, sold, falsely accused, imprisoned then forgotten – not by God but by his acquaintances – and then finally elevated to a position lower only than the Pharaoh. He was in charge of the planning before the famine to grow and keep enough grain. The nation of Egypt would not only survive, but would be able to sell grain to surrounding countries. He was right where God wanted him to be and he became the protector of his nation, the nation of Israel. Joseph’s story is in the first book of the Bible, Genesis chapters 37, 39-50.
It took many years for the first Joseph to learn why God had allowed all of the suffering. Our second Joseph, just now four years old, has no idea what has happened to him. He has yet to learn about his father’s dramatic rescue attempts, braving the climate and the hostile terrain of Colombia on foot, walking the breadth of the country to gain support. Joseph’s father, Jim Allen, was refused the help of the American Embassy personnel in Colombia. It was, Jim reported, the most destitute of Colombians who shared with him their only meal or gave him a place to rest. His story is one of faith and perseverance in the face of daunting odds. Jim Allen knows that God is keenly aware that it will be God who carries Joseph through this trial. It is to God that Jim turned when things seemed darkest.
You can follow Jim Allen’s quest to get to see his son. Jim has documented his story thus far in the on-line book, The Forgotten Child. It is available at a minimal cost that is used only to defray a trip to Colombia to try to negotiate a visit with his son. Jim also has a website and FACEBOOK to which you can go to find out how to support the Get Joseph Home project.
Right now Jim, who once owned a thriving electrical contracting business in North Carolina has spent every cent toward retrieving his son, has now lost his home and is need of work and a place to stay preferably in the area of Burlington, NC. Jim nearly won the 2012 primary election to the U.S. House of Representatives where he plans to go to bat for the over 100,000 parents of abducted children, taken by another parent illegally to overseas countries. (Some agencies place this figure closer to 150,000). Jim will be seeking office again to continue to take this battle, along with many others, back to the floor of Congress on behalf of the multitude thousands of parents who are ‘Left Behind.
If you can help, contact Jim at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/help-bring-home-joseph-martin-allen/239275962775577
God had a plan for the first Joseph before he was ever born. God has a plan for Joseph Allen too. He is aware of Joseph’s location and his condition and He will see His plans fulfilled for Joseph – of that Jim is sure. Please continue to pray for Joseph, Jim and Joseph’s mother that God’s will is to be done in their lives.
Jim will be a guest of radio host W. Edward Griffith on the program of the International Counter Terrorism Officers’ Association along with Detective Mike Riker, President of the ICTOA on Wednesday, September 19th at 7pm Pacific time (10pm EST). You can listen to the program at www.blogtalkradio.com/ictoaradio
RESOURCES Additional resources that can help you learn more about abducted children and parents left behind are:
www.globalmissing.com They have information to help for those taken in the CONUS (Continental United States) and globally, just follow the links inside the website.
Polly Klaas Foundation is a national nonprofit that helps find missing children and prevents them from going missing in the first place. The Foundation accomplishes its goals by promoting public policies, educating the public, and providing families, law enforcement and communities with the ongoing support and expertise needed to protect our children.
www.ncmec.org The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
We ask that God will continue to bless and guard Joseph and to bless and encourage his father, Jim Allen. We also ask that god will encourage the hearts of all the parents, world-wide.
“But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children to come to me and do not forbid them for such is the kingdom of heaven’ and He laid His hands on them and blessed them.” Matthew 19:14-15
“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck; and he was drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:6
Jesus also understood the nature of some government officials. He gave an example of a widow who felt she was not getting the attention of the local judge that she so desperately needed. In Luke 18:1-8 we learn that the government official did not care about men who might have authority over him. He also had no regard for God. The widow asked for justice over her adversary and he ignored her until finally he relented, “Yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenger her; lest by her continual coming she weary me.” Jesus said, “…shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you He will avenge them speedily…”